We’ve opened the gates of the sea world to innumerable people now! And with each time, every story of an individual coming to us, to experience diving for the first time, comes like a breath of fresh air. Having seen infinite reactions and awestruck faces, every reaction feels new and their expressions, falling short of words. Yes, scuba diving is a gateway to a world within a world! A passage through which one explores the space seen and known, but literally deeper. It is indeed a discovery for the new, and an exploration for the rest!


But who can describe an experience the best, than the one who has lived it!? Undergoing one of its kind experience and giving you a peek of how scuba diving feels for the first time, would be done justice through their words, directly!
Here’s an instance of a first time diver, who got along with us to discover the world within the world. She shares her experience and her apprehensions, similar to what other newcomers would face, and elaborates on her overall diving experience.


‘From what I had always seen on Discovery Channel or National Geographic, I had even heard a lot about scuba diving in Bali, where I am going for a trip in about a month. A little over my budget, I wanted to make sure if it is actually worth it  or am I going to freak out when I dip myself into the gigantic sea. Nevertheless, a gush of adrenaline made me sign up for a diving course at ‘West Coast Adventures’ to rehearse. A bit of google and word of mouth helped me navigate my way easily to them. My session was scheduled for the next day in a pool at Vile Parle (E), with instructor Leon De Nazareth, who was going to educate me on everything about diving and take me through it too. And with all of this being confirmed, it was sure that I was on with an underwater expedition. It took me time to realize that I would actually be going through an underwater experience, and be there under the surface of the water for a long period of time. Despite the fact that I can swim, the thought of being underwater for more than a couple of minutes seemed uncomfortable. With all the questions such as, will I be able to breathe properly? or what if I forget to breathe from my mouth, will water rush into my mouthpiece where I’ll be breathing from? running in my head, came the next morning.

My session was scheduled for 12 PM. So with every passing minute, I could feel my heart pounding. Diving being a new subject for me altogether, the nervousness and uneasiness were bound to make an entry with it. I already thought of multiple rescue plans for myself, if at all something goes wrong! I reached the site at Vile Parle (E), earlier to the scheduled time to calm myself. The place was vast and hosted multiple sports and adventure activities. I could hear the waves of the pool hitting the walls. Again lost into the imagination, I saw myself in the water, swimming like a fish. I came to reality with a ‘Hi! I’m Leon, you must be Ritu!’ Punctual like I assumed him to be, I could also sense how calm and poised Leon was with his body language. He showed me the place, the giant swimming pool which was around 17ft deep, and the place where West Coast Adventures kept all their diving gears, systematically! With my nervousness reaching the heights of the sky above me, Leon introduced me to the functionality of each equipment I was going to wear for diving. I might have interrupted him for a thousand of times easily with my questions and assurance that I’ll be fine, and each time in his composed way, he gave me faith to let my anxiety go away.


We sat down for a briefing session that went about for an hour, where he told me all about diving from A to Z. All the nitty-gritty that went before and after the session and what common mistakes a first-timer or even an experienced diver commits. From knowing that the air cylinder at the back of a diver doesn’t contain oxygen but normal air, just compressed, to why you must swim slow when inside the sea, I was highly enriched with the knowledge of scuba diving.
 

 

It was time for me to get into my wetsuit and take a plunge into the water. The wetsuit was a bit thick in its material and made me feel warm in the open air. Leon quickly brushed up my freshly grasped knowledge, as we were about to step into the water. We went inside the cold-cold water (as the temperature outside was lower than the usual) and equipped ourselves with the gears and fins. After following up through hygiene diving exercises, Leon took me for a tour of the pool, from the shallow side to the deep, and let me be on my own for a couple of minutes.
For what I had imagined it to be, it was much more spellbinding and spectacular than that! I forgot that my apprehensions, nervousness, worry etc.ever existed. I was breathing underwater like a fish. I was down there under 11 ft of water, breathing, seeing everything clearly. In my head, I was in the sea, chasing fish, passing past the coral reefs. At one moment, I looked up, saw my hand against the blurry sight (caused by water) of the building, which surrounded the borders of the pool. I realised how deep I was inside the pool. In that moment, I was there, living underwater. Reality struck me again and it was time to end the tour and hence the session. I had my time inside the water captured, to make it memorable for me. A piece of experience that I could take away with me.

 

When we sprung outside the water, and not to my surprise I realised that I was a human again. The time flew by in seconds it felt. I removed my gears and fins with his help, and touched the land. It wasn’t even a minute outside the water that I wanted to dive again. I shortly met Leon to express how grateful I was for the diving session and thankful to my instincts to jive up and get me signed up with West Coast Adventures. I bid adieu to my instructor and headed my way home, with a heart full of a one-of-its-own-experience. It didn’t strike me like anything new, but I found myself connected to the waters. I discovered that I have a thing for water activities. And I could definitely see myself doing this again and again! In Bali the next time, for sure.
I could feel the change in me, before and after the session! Initially, I was nervous, scared, uncomfortable, apprehensive, uneasy and after the mighty session, I was confident, ready for more, calm, active, happy and positive towards trying new things!
I found one new thing about myself, that apprehension stopped me from doing so many things that I wanted to do. And when I threw myself out in an uncomfortable zone, I found myself in my comfort zone. Scuba Diving had become my comfort zone.



Hosting an experience like this, surely makes us fall short of words! For nervousness and apprehensions are natural, a little restlessness and courage can lead you to explore something beautiful. As beautiful as the world underwater.
Let West Coast Adventures be your support in exploring a different world, on the same planet!

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